Unoff. Preps.: Elixir Strychnine Valerate - strychnine valerate, .0175 Gm. dist. water .5, tinct. of vanilla 1.5, comp. tinct. of cudbear 1.5, aromatic elixir q. s. 100, dose, 3j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)). Solution of Strychnine Acetate, strychnine .178 Gm., dil. acetic acid 3.5, alcohol 25, comp. tinct. of cardamom 1, dist. water q. s. 100, dose, ev-15 (.3-1 Ml. (Cc.)). Abstract, dose, gr. 1/4-2 (.016-.13 Gm.). Decoction of leaves used externally in rheumatism. Strychnine Glycerophosphas. Strychninoe Valeras. Strychninoe Hydrochloridum (Br.). Liquor Strychnine Hydrochloridi (Br.), 1 p. c, dose, eij - 8 (.13 - .5 Ml. (Cc.)).
Properties. - Motor excitant, spinant, tonic, stomachic, respiratory, cardiac, muscular, and nervous stimulant, antiseptic, poisonous. Strychnine and nux vomica are identical, increasing the vascularity of gastric mucous membrane, secretion of gastric juice, and peristalsis by stimulating the intestinal muscular coat (purgative), stimulates direct the cardiac muscles or the motor ganglia and nerves of special sense; strychnine, full dose, gr. 1/10 (-006 Gm.), gives dilated pupils, jerky limbs, spasmodic respirations, stiff lower jaw, cerebral tension, shuddering, depression, facial smile or grin. Thebaine (opium) acts similarly. The spasms of tetanus are constant, of strychnine intermittent, with meaningless smile; the modified lockjaw, absence of wound, and rapidly developed symptoms differentiate the two. Strychnine is absorbed rapidly, but eliminated slowly by urinary, salivary, and cutaneous channels.
Uses. - Strychnine was used first in paralysis, and now in atonic dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, bowel atony, pregnancy and phthisis vomiting, nervous cough, bronchitis, anaemia, paralytic condition, lead palsy, inebriate and diphtherial paralysis, amaurosis from lead, tobacco, alcohol, paralysis of bladder, incontinence of urine, sexual impotence, tetanus, chorea, epilepsy, delirium tremens, spermatorrhoea, neuralgia, dysmenorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, antidote to hydrated chloral, morphine, physostigmine. A tolerance for it is established quickly, but gr. 1/12 (-005 Gm.) has killed, while gr. 1/2-2 (.03-. 13 Gm.) as a rule is considered fatal; extract, gr. 3 (.2 Gm.) also have killed.
Poisoning: Strychnine, gr. 1/2 (.03 Gm.) or more, produces within half an hour difficult breathing, sense of suffocation and impending death, muscular rigidity, stiffness of neck, tonic or persistent convulsions of all extensor muscles, coming on at intervals 3-30 minutes, lasting a few seconds to one or more minutes, these quickly recurring at every noise, touch or peripheral irritation, between convulsions complete relaxation, face dusky and with ghastly grin, angles of mouth drawn back and upward, body curved so as to rest on head and heels, eyeballs prominent, pupils dilated during paroxysm, eyes fixed and open, lips livid, great thirst but unable to drink owing to spasms of jaws, respiration suspended during convulsions, pulse feeble and rapid, involuntary defecation and urination, lockjaw, death in 2-3 hours from asphyxia; mind clear until near the end, when carbon dioxide narcosis (cyanosis), exhaustion and nervous storm set in. Place in horizontal position, in dark room remote from all noise, use evacuants, (stomach-pump, emetics, purgatives), follow with antidotes; tannin dissolved in water, charcoal, potassium permanganate; if ingested relax (convulsions) with chloroform or ether, and give by rectum potassium bromide gr. 60 (4 Gm.) and hydrated chloral gr. 40 (2.6 Gm.) in starch water; amyl nitrite, (soluble iodides, tobacco, opium, physostigmine, atropine, conium, cannabis). Empty bladder often (catheter), practise artificial respiration.
Incompatibles: Hydrated chloral, potassium bromide, tobacco, chloroform, ether, tannin, bromides, iodides, chlorides.
Synergists: Motor excitants, ergot, ustilago, electricity, cold.
1. The bark was once (1806-1837) upon the market in England and Holland, being mixed usually with Angustura, and since then has been known as False Angustura Bark; it is poisonous, gray, cork patches rust-color, warty, inside brown, fracture smooth, no white striae (calcium oxalate); contains strychnine, brucine, etc. The wood is used in domestic medicine; all portions are medicinal.
1. Strychnos Igna'tii, Ignatia, St. Ignatius' Bean. - The seed, official 1860-1890; Philippine Islands. Large climbing shrub, leaves ovate, acute at apex, smooth, flowers white, tubular, racemes; fruit resembles a pear, pericarp brittle; seeds 24, imbedded in bitter pulp, 25 Mm. (1') long, 15 Mm. (3/5') broad, ovate, triangular, grayish, blackish, nearly smooth, few or no hairs, horny, very bitter; contains more strychnine, but less total alkaloids than nux vomica - strychnine .5-1.5 p. c, brucine .5-1.4 p. c, proteids 10 p. c, ash 4 p. c; used like nux vomica. Dose, gr. 1/2-3 (.03-.2 Gm.); extract, 6 p. c. alkaloids (75 p. c. alcohol); tincture, 10 p. c. (85 p. c. alcohol), dose, ev-20 (.3-1.3 Ml. (Cc.)).
2. S. Tieu'te. - Java; seeds resemble nux vomica but smaller, whiter; contain strychnine, brucine; extract used natively for arrow poison. S. potato'rum, India; seeds subglobular, 12 Mm. (1/2') wide, brownish-gray, not bitter, no strychnine; used natively for clearing muddy water. S. Colubri'na, India; yields true Lignum Colubrinum, for which nux vomica branches often are substituted. All parts bitter and contain strychnine and brucine; once used as antidote to snake-bites, hence the name.
3. S. toxifera (Castelnoea'na), Curara, Curare, Woorara, Urari. - Brazil, Guiana. Extract of bark (South American arrow poison), blackish, hygroscopic, bitter, friable, 75 p. c. soluble in water; contains curarine, C18H35N (yellowish-brown, bitter alkaloid), resin, fat. Diaphoretic, sedative, irritant; best drug in tetanus. Dose, gr. 1/10-1/3 (.006-.02 Gm.); curarine gr. 1/100- (.0006 Gm.) - resembles digitalis in action.
Fig . 312. - Ignatia: vertical section.